Promoters wishing to submit results should send them to cyclingnews
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent Regarded as an ace sprinter, Eddie O'Donoghue delivered the goods in Sunday, February 25th's, opener of the cycling season.
The Lacey Trophy attracted an entry of 80 competitors who turned up to race over 80km of the Dingle Peninsula with a start and finish in the town of Tralee, Co. Kerry. The town is renowned for the number of All Ireland medals won by residents of the town over the years. Unfortunately from cyclings point of view it is not cycling medals but those won on the hallowed turf of Croke Park for Gaelic football.
The event was handicapped with the limit group off six minutes, the intermediary group at three minutes and a scratch group of 20.
Within 18km the scratch group had overtaken the majority of the big field at Gleann na nGealt a testing climb which included a prime. From then on it was nip and tuck as the leaders forged ahead with little or no grace being afforded to any forays out front.
The event suddenly came alive at Castlemaine Hill 10km from the finish which was regarded as one of the toughest climbs in the country.
Forging ahead on the tortuous climb, local hope from the promoting club Paul Griffin edged ahead in the company of the eventual winner. Over the top the pair aided by a South Westerly wind, the pair stayed clear of Banteers Ritchie Cahill who made a valiant effort to reel the pair back before the finish. Back in fourth place was Sean Lacey of the Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club who along with Griffin were racing in there new colours. "I was eager to dislodge Eddie on the climb but he just held in and at the finish, he just sprinted clear to claim the honours as the first winner of the season," said Paul.
Race organiser, Matt Lacey, "was very happy with the huge turnout which exceeded all expectations. Yes it would it have been great if we had won the opener, but it's a long season, and I'm convinced on todays efforts by Paul and young Sean Lacey that the season will bear fruit," said Matt.
1 E O'Donoghue (Carrick Cidona CC) 2.01.17 2 P Griffin (Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club) 3 R Cahill (Banteer CC) 0.04 4 S Lacey (Earl of Desmond Tralee Bicycle Club) 0.10 5 T Barry (Carrick Cidona CC) 6 M Bolton ((BH Team) 0.30